22 January 1999
EU raises stakes in banana war

THE European Union (EU) is seeking to prevent the USA from obtaining World Trade Organisation approval to impose sanctions on a basket of EU exports.

The sanctions on the products, which include pork, could be imposed in a fortnights time in the latest skirmish over the EUs banana import policy.

Washington has threatened to impose punitive sanctions on $520 million (£315m) worth of European exports from 1 February, claiming that the EU has failed to comply with WTO rulings.

The USA says that the regime gives preferential access to bananas from former British and French colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific and discriminates against US distributors of Latin American fruit.